For your consideration, my current-model Renaissance preamp - this full function preamp is decked out with the optional MM/MC phono stage. This unit sounds *PHENOMENAL* and offers the best midrange you'll hear, save for VAC's high-end (and much more expensive) models. Sweet, expansive, wide-bandwidth sound which never fatigues, never bores, and doesn't skimp on an iota of detail! This is a component that has the potential to take your system over the top into the sweet nirvana you've been dreaming of.
So, why am I selling such a wonderful sounding piece of gear? Because I've upgraded to its big brother - the Master preamp, of course!
The phono option is a must-have (in my opinion), because it absolutely spanks $3K standalone phono stages like the Herrons and the Rogue Ares Magnums of the world. As with the line-stage, nobody makes phono stages quite like VAC does!
I am the 2nd owner of this unit. It operates flawlessly. It will come with a low-hour set of the stock tubes: 2x Electro Harmonix gold pin 6922 (line-stage), and 3x Mullard (Russian) long-plate 12ax7 (phono). I'm rating it 7/10 because it has some minor cosmetic flaws & signs of use, but rest assured it will look as stellar as a new one in your rack. For completeness, please consider the following notes on cosmetics:
- It has a few light smudge markings on its top lid, probably from rubber footed components the prior owner stacked atop it.
- Its faceplate has a very small patch missing clearcoat on its top bevel. It's hard to see, and I doubt the prior owner even noticed it. You will never notice this when it's in your rack.
- It is missing one of the chassis lid's screws (has 9 out of 10 screws). I am a voracious tube roller, and I *always* seem to lose at least one of these top screws, without fail! VAC should be able to easily and cheaply replace this if it bothers you. The 10th screw is not necessary for securing the lid.
- Note the minor scratch atop the PSU chassis.
- The VAC logo looks orange (mute mode), and dull blue (normal mode), and slightly blurry in these pics due to how hard it is to photograph the lights while normally exposing the rest of the image. In person, they are actually a very lovely bright red and bright blue, respectively - super crisp and sharp looking!